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Turkish Simple Present Tense Participles

The Simple Present Tense is called "Geniş Zaman" [LIT: Wide Tense] in Turkish. It is also known as the aorist or timeless tense grammar. The Simple Present Tense is used for habitual situations. The Wide tense participle also has this same sense for when used as an adjective and it precedes the noun which it describes. The formation of both the positive -r -ar -er -ir -ır -ür -ur and negative - maz -mez participles is the same as their respective Wide simple present tense bases.

Turkish Positive Timeless Participle

The simple present tense positive sign -r is used to mark this type of participle.
akmakto flow becomes akar that which flows [continually, habitually]

It is verb when placed AFTER a noun:
Nehir, denize kadar akar. The river flows as far as the sea.

It is an adjective meaning that which flows when placed BEFORE a noun:
Yatak odasında akar su var. There is running water in the bedroom. [Meaning water is available in that room.]

This is at variance with the -an/-en subject participle akan which is flowing. Here the meaning is different:
Yatak odasında akan su var. There is water (which is) flowing in the bedroom. [The meaning here is that there is leak or maybe the roof is leaking.]

The Simple Wide Tense Participle in -r -ar -er describes what generally happens as a rule and the Subject Participle in -an/-en describes what is happening now.

Turkish Simple Tense Common Noun Forms

Many Wide Tense Participles have entered the language as common nouns in their own right.
Yazmak to write. Wide Tense tense base yazar meaning writer/author.
Bu kitabın yazarı Orhan Kemal' dır. This writer/author of this book is Orhan Kemal.
But if we were to use the Subject Participle then the meaning changes.
Bu kitabı yazan Orhan Kemal' dır. It is Orhan Kemal who wrote this book.

Turkish Simple Participle Negative Forms

This is also used as an adjective mainly to describe the general state of things. We also use this construction in English quite a lot.
I saw an unbelievable film last night. [which is not able to be believed.]
It was an unforgettable film. [which is not able to be forgotten.]
Here we in English are using the negative participle as an adjective by placing it in front of its noun.

But it can also take its verbal form as well:
The film I saw last night was unbelievable. [It could not be believed] as a verb.
The film was unforgettable. [It was not able to be forgotten] as a verb.
It is a matter of the position of the participle. Placed before its noun it is an adjectival description. Placed after its noun it becomes a verb. This then is the way Turkish uses these participles, in exactly the same manner as English.

Formation of the Turkish Negative Simple (Timeless) Participle

The simple present tense negative sign -maz/-mez is used to mark this type of participle.
akmak to flow. becomes akmaz That which does not flow [continually, habitually]

Examples in the negative potential form :
İnanılamaz bir şey oldu! An unbelievable thing has happened! [inan-ıl-a-maz that which is not able to be usually believed]
Dün akşam unutulamaz bir filim seyrettik. We watched an unforgettable film last night.
Garajınızda kullanılamaz olan eski bir bisiklet buldum. I found an old unusable bicycle in your garage.
This example shows the addition of olan - the subject participle of olmak meaning which is, thus helping the listener to discern that the participle is an adjective.

Turkish Simple Tense Common Noun Forms



Many of these participles have also become nouns in their own right.
Araç çıkabilir çıkmaz that which does not exit.
Or as a passive verb çıkılmaz is no exit. This has come to mean a cul-de-sac.
The street sign ÇIKMAZ SOKAK means a street with no exit, cul-de-sac
It can also be found on doors which lead nowhere in public buildings ÇIKMAZ NO EXIT [LIT: Which Does not exit]

Saying As soon as in Turkish

There is one formula to translate as soon as which uses both positive and negative wide tense participles in apposition:
Biz gelir gelmez yemek yiyelim. As soon as we come, lets eat (a meal).
This formula is quite heavily used in day to day speech.
The translation of as soon as I come/came. Ben gelir gelmez.
As soon as is translated by using the simple tense positive and negative participles in apposition: …ir … mez as in sen gelir gelmez as soon as you come/came.

  1. The person (subject) has to be stated as it is not apparent from the verb form.
  2. The tense is taken from the verb of the final statement.
  3. Very often the word when can be substituted for as soon as in English.

As soon as…showing changes in person in Turkish:

  • Ben gelir gelmez bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as I came an accident happened/occurred.
  • Sen gelir gelmez bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as you came an accident happened.
  • O gelir gelmez bir kaza olacakmış.
  • As soon as he comes an accident will probably happen.
  • Mehmet gelir gelmez bir kaza olabilir.
  • As soon as Mehmet comes an accident may happen.
  • Biz gelir gelmez bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as we came an accident happened.
  • Siz gelir gelmez bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as you came an accident happened.
  • Onlar gelir gelmez bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as they came an accident happened.
  • Polis gelir gelmez başka bir kaza oldu.
  • As soon as the police came another accident occurred.
  • Biz çıkar çıkmaz annem gelecekmiş
  • As soon as (when) we go out my mother may arrive.
  • Onlar oraya varır varmaz partı başlayacak.
  • As soon as (when) they arrive there the party will begin.